Industrial mining’s tropical deforestation footprint spills beyond concessions

  • Indonesia, Brazil, Suriname and Ghana account for 80% of all tropical deforestation linked directly to industrial mining, a new study has found.카지노사이트
  • In two out of three tropical countries, large-scale mineral extraction leads to forest loss when effects over a wider area, beyond formal mining concessions, are considered.
  • “We have to look beyond the mine fence,” Stefan Giljum, the lead author of the paper, said. “What is needed is a forest conservation plan for a whole region integrating all the activities that are going on.”
  • It’s difficult to quantify forest destruction linked to the mining sector as a whole because both the indirect effects on surrounding areas and the impacts of artisanal mining are hard to pin down.
  • Industrial mining wiped out nearly 2,000 square kilometers, or 770 square miles, of forests in Indonesia between 2000 and 2019. The country is one of four worldwide where direct tropical forest loss from large-scale mining — 8 out of every 10 square kilometers — is concentrated.

“Indonesia alone accounts for 60% of forest loss among the 26 countries we investigated,” said Stefan Giljum, lead author of a newly published study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers focused on countries that account for most of the deforestation (77%) occurring in the tropics.

Along with Indonesia, Brazil and Suriname in South America, and Ghana in West Africa accounted for 80% of all mining-linked direct deforestation in the tropics. Mining operations replaced around 3,300 km2 (1,270 mi2) of forest cover between 2000 and 2019 in the 26 countries, according to data from Global Forest Watch (GFW).

Brazil lost 330 km2 (127 mi2) resulting directly from the extraction of minerals. Ghana and Suriname reported deforestation of 213 and 203 km2 (82 and 78 mi2), respectively.

A 2019 World Bank report said that 45% of all active mines are in forested areas. However, industrial mines don’t just swallow forests within concessions; they transform entire landscapes. When effects over a wider area are considered, in two out of three tropical countries, large-scale mineral extraction leads to forest loss, the new study found.

Mines often become a hive of economic activity, triggering infrastructure development and spawning new settlements. A 2017 study from the Brazilian Amazon captured the impacts within a 70-km (43-mi) radius of mining concessions, and reported that deforestation rates in adjoining areas could be 12 times higher than inside the concessions.

However, it’s difficult to establish that the mining operation is causing this deforestation. Most corporate responsibility initiatives to curb deforestation focus exclusively on direct impacts. “We have to look beyond the mine fence,” Giljum said. “What is needed is basically a forest conservation plan for a whole region integrating all the activities that are going on.”

Quantifying forest destruction linked to the mining sector as a whole is complicated. One of the major reasons is a lack of information about artisanal mining, which is often informal, unregulated and dispersed. “Some studies show that artisanal mining might even have a larger impact than industrial mining,” Giljum said.

In Ghana, a gold-rich nation, both artisanal and industrial mining of coal is linked to forest loss. Daryl Bosu, an environmental activist with the Ghanaian NGO A Rocha, has been at the forefront of a campaign to stop industrial bauxite mining in Ghana’s Atewa forest. He told Mongabay that while artisanal mining provides much-needed employment in communities, unregulated artisanal mining, especially with newer tools, can cause real harm.

“Nobody is doing traditional mining with pickaxes anymore. They are now using mechanized excavators and bulldozers, so if that’s the scale, it also has a significant impact,” Bosu said. One study found that between 2005 and 2019, new mining areas were mostly being opened up by small-scale operators, and more than 7 km2 (2.7 mi2) of the mined land was inside protected areas.바카라사이트

While industrial mines are constrained by concession boundaries, small-scale mining operations are more mobile, bringing deforestation to new areas, leaving behind degraded landscapes. In some cases, large mines attract artisanal miners to the region by opening up remote areas.

The new study highlights the need to look at what is happening outside mining concessions but also beyond national boundaries. In Indonesia, deforestation in mining areas intensified between 2010 and 2014. The study authors suspect a surge in overseas demand for coal, mined extensively in Indonesia’s East Kalimantan province, during this period played a role. In 2011 alone, the province on Borneo Island produced 205 million metric tons of coal — more than 13 times France’s coal demand for that year.

Giljum said the team is now investigating which materials fuel forest loss and interrogating international supply chains for mining-dependent commodities. While direct losses from mining are smaller compared to other activities like agriculture and livestock, some countries are subject to disproportionate losses, so mitigation efforts can target those nations.온라인카지노

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.